Jokes about sexism

Gert Jan Gast gjgast at
Mon Feb 26 10:58:49 EST 1996

cruyff at MCNALLY ) wrote:
>In <4gqka5$d46 at> rar453s at (Ruhlen Rachel)
>>This isn't science-related, but I keep encountering this from people
>>are supposed to be professionals, and I find it annoying.
>>Occassionally someone says something along the lines of "Women should
>>inthe kitchen anyway," meaning it as a joke.  (Or, women aren't as
>>or some obviously sexist remark.)  I don't think it's funny, but I
>>laugh anyway, or at least smile, to show that I understood it was
>meant as
>>a joke.  
>>What would be a better way to respond, without being rude?

>    I know I will probably get flamed for this response,

We are not complaining, are we?

> but I think
>this is their way of supporting you without directly saying so.

A woman who is told that she should be in the kitchen instead of 
the lab has to understand that as indirect support???? Are you 

> This
>is an uncomfortable issue because of the wide range of feelings >women
>have about it.  

Sure, the problem is that women have such feelings. It's their 
problem that they are annoyed.

>They probably feel they shouldn't ignore the issue,

What's the real issue here?

> but
>don't want to directly say anything for fear of sounding >patronizing. 

They very much succeed in sounding patronizing.

>So they express themselves the way guys do: they make a joke.  

We can't think of equivalent jokes we heard between men. We don't 
think it is a pure joke either. Men who accept women as full 
partners have no reason to make such jokes. Men who have a 
problem with women beside or above them will. So there always is 
an underlying meaning. Women are very right not to appreciate 
that. Although very considerate of her we don't think Ruhlen 
should care too much about being rude, because that's precisely 
what the "jokes" are.

Cheers, Jeroen & GJ.

Gert Jan Gast <gjgast at NIOZ.NL>
Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Department of Marine Ecology
P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, The Netherlands.
Phone: 31 (0)222 369573. Fax: 31 (0)222 319674.

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